New LUNG FORCE "State of Lung Cancer" 2018 Report Looks at the Toll of Lung Cancer Across the Country
Every three and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. will die from lung cancer, accounting for about one in four cancer deaths. The five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 18.1 percent—much lower than those for many other common cancers, making lung cancer the leading cause of cancer deaths in the country. Why is diagnosing and treating lung cancer so complex?
To answer this question, we need a better understanding of the impact of lung cancer at the state level – which is why we've created the LUNG FORCE "State of Lung Cancer" 2018 report. By taking a closer look at the burden of this disease in each state across the country, we can encourage interventions and save lives.
The "State of Lung Cancer" finds that the burden of lung cancer is not the same everywhere. Treatment, exposure to risk factors and access to screening facilities vary from state to state. To save lives, it’s critical to both prevent lung cancer and diagnose the disease at an earlier stage when it is more curable.
The "State of Lung Cancer" looks at five key lung cancer indicators:
Unfortunately, only 18.9 percent of cases nationally are diagnosed at an early stage. The percent of cases diagnosed at an early stage was highest for Wyoming at 23.3 percent and lowest for Hawaii and Oregon at 15.0 percent.
More than 234,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and the rate of new cases vary by state.
Delaware had the most screening centers per million people at 21.1, while Utah had the fewest centers per million people at 0.7.
The five-year lung cancer survival rate was 20.0 percent nationally, ranging from 24.0 percent in New York to 15.9 in Louisiana. Only 31 states track this important metric.
Nationally, 21 percent of cases underwent surgery as part of the first course of treatment, ranging from 30.1 percent in Massachusetts to 14.3 percent in Oklahoma.* Surgery is more likely to be an option if the lung cancer is diagnosed early.
As we work toward defeating lung cancer, it is the goal of the LUNG FORCE "State of Lung Cancer" 2018 report to empower people with the knowledge and information to appeal to state governors and raise awareness of this deadly disease. You can help by sharing this report and signing your state's petition asking your governor to deliver resources and make lung health a public health priority. There is much work to be done and together we can work to rid our nation of this deadly disease.
* Patients who are not healthy enough to undergo the procedure or whose cancer has spread too far may not be candidates for surgery. Other treatments may be recommended instead of or in addition to surgery, such as chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy or immunotherapy. This report focuses on surgery because diagnosing cancer early is more likely to be curable.